24 November, 2008

Night Ridin' with the Coyotes

here's me in the night, with no lights.
hey kids. nothing happening that was worth mentioning for the past couple of weeks. global warming's keeping our property snow-free whereas in years past it would've been insulating the ground at least a foot thick by now. crazy. one good thing from the melting of the polar icecaps is i can get an occasional night ride in. i went for a night ride about a week ago with my boy alec after not riding for months. the volume of traffic that evening was unusually high. all manner of people were out there either hiking or biking. on the second lap at green mountain we had to cut it short due to a cold front coming in and getting the temperature near freezing. it's always a deal breaker when the feet get numb. i ditched the helmet in favor of an ear covering beanie. man it got cold...
anyhoo, i did it again. parked at a different trailhead parking lot than last. as i got there and started putting all the cold-weather gear on i hear a bunch of coyotes hootin' and hollerin' pretty close by in the nearby field. it's pitch black out here in the foothills by this time. it always inspires confidence when you see a posted sign near the trailhead saying there has been an unusually high number of break-ins. please keep valuables out of sight.
the trail has less intense climbing if you go a certain way. tonight i wanted to do some intensity so i climb a super steep fire road (when back in the day when i used to own a dual suspension rig, i hit 50 miles/hour on the descent). it's that steep and long. nocturnal activity hits the sensory organs in not quite the same way it would if it were diurnal. your senses are heightened just a smidge and the lack of sunlight and crisp, night air make it seem like a novelty. i like the way it works on my brain and legs. it's almost a distraction from the lactic acid creeping in when i'm attempting to climb with some intensity.
the mind also has a tendency to wander to the morbid. my mind for some reason or another has the knack of squirreling away nutty factoids like mountain lion attacks. so, whenever i'm climbing in shoulder high brush i'm always thinking is there a mountain lion waiting to sink his/her canines in the most vulnerable of human structures (i.e. the neck)?? needless to say the adrenaline kicks in and i'm doing my impersonation of il pirato (r.i.p.). i'm getting tired so i roll back on the road, trying to tap out a tt-like pace on my hardtail. i can't maintain the pace so i ease up and ride at tempo back to the car.
i'm the only car in the lot and as i get nearer the coyotes sense me coming and they start to hoot and holler again. again, it freaks me out because they are soooo close. if you've never heard a pack of coyotes hootin' and hollerin' they sound like teenage boys on acid trying to imitate a five-year old imitating a siren on a police car. very surreal. i throw the yeti in the back of the truck and hop in the cab to change. once i turn on the truck lights they quiet down and so does my mind. i change in relative quietness and strip in the parking lot. it's amazingly liberating being in your birthday suit and leisurely changing back into your civies. on the way back i hit the cheapest gas station in town and fill 'er up at $1.59/gallon. yeah good night too the weather was in the mid-40s so rather comfy except when it wasn't.


Groover said...

"... has the knack of squirreling away nutty factoids like mountain lion attacks"

Love it. It was worth waiting for this post. :-)

I was about to protest, however, that lions belong to the family of Felidae until I re-read your sentence and realised that you were talking about canine teeth.

Did I mention that you're a wuss? Hehehe.

...it's me!... said...

sweet sandra, i didn't know you were a science geek too :)
AND, it's mister wuss to you...

Groover said...

Oh, are we requesting the formal "Sie" now? Sehr wohl, Herr Weichling! :-)

...it's me!... said...

das ist richtig fraulein (undt vielen dank)! even though i spent two years in deutschland, i'm still limited to simple dick and jane sentences; only present tense stuff (es((?)) tut mir leid).